Notre-Dame de Senanque Abbey and Bonnieux
Trip Start Sep 24, 2009
13Trip End Oct 04, 2009
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If you wish to visit the Abbey yourself during the high season, visit the web site to purchase tickets in 48 hours in advance. The tours are very limited and are only in French. An additional note of warning: it seems that the brothers don't want their visitors to enjoy any unnecessary comforts or amenities either. There were inexplicably no toilet seats in an otherwise modern bathroom.
Note to the contemplative: If you wish to temporarily join the Cistercian's community of prayer for a while, the monastery has guest quarters if you write to Frere Hotelier.
We thought we could fit one more town in before sunset, so we flipped through the guidebook and decided on Bonnieux. It is another town perched on the top of a mountaintop. We drove partway in and then hiked up winding streets to the top where the "old church" stands. Of course this church only became the old one when the "new church" was built in the 19th century. We were very surprised to find that the view from Bonnieux is very different from the other towns. It is a little further south and east and is surrounded largely by a cedar forest, so we got a very different, but equally beautiful view from some of the others we enjoyed throughout the day. We had no luck getting snacks, and it was too early for dinner, so we had to cut our visit a little short or starve. On the way home I spotted a boulengerie and we picked up bread, tarts and Lucy got something with nuts.